Great Bay Book Group

Please join the GREAT BAY BOOK GROUP!

CLF & GBS Book Club


The untold story of the women who took on the richest man in the world – and won

by David W. Moore

We at the Great Bay Stewards (GBS), in conjunction with the Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) are hosting a coordinated book reading and region-wide discussion about an epic battle fought 50 years ago here on the New Hampshire Coast. It was a fight against a proposed oil shipping terminal on the Isles of Shoals, an oil refinery in Durham, and a 10-mile pipeline between the two. Had it not been defeated, this massive development would have irrevocably changed our Seacoast region.

To commemorate this epic battle and reflect on its current relevance, we invite you to join us in reading David Moore’s excellent book this spring. Ask your local library, school, or book group to host a discussion about this environmental conflict – sometime around Earth Day – and participate in the Great Bay Book Group.

Download a discussion guide here and the action toolkit to help make the reading more meaningful. What can we learn from this amazing story to help us address today’s less visible – but equally serious – environmental challenges? 

If you would like to participate, please take this brief survey so we can best support your participation.

Copies of Small Town, Big Oil are available at RiverRun Bookstore in Portsmouth and Water Street Bookstore in Exeter for a 25% discount.

Please contact Veronique Ludington at to request free copies of the book for library or classroom use, and to add your event to the list of participating groups.

Help us spread the word! Please download, print and share this Great Bay Book Group flyer.

Participating Libraries & Organizations

(list updated regularly)

– Wiggin Memorial Library, Stratham, NH

– Exeter Public Library, Exeter, NH

– Weeks Public Library, Greenland, NH

– Paul Memorial Library, Newfields, NH

– Langdon Library, Newington, NH

– North Hampton Public Library, North Hampton, NH

– Dover Public Library, Dover, NH

– Somersworth Public Library, Somersworth, NH

– D.A. Hurd Library, North Berwick, ME

– Rice Public Library, Kittery, ME

– Portsmouth High School, Portsmouth, NH

– Noble High School, North Berwick, ME

– Chesley Memorial Library, Northwood, NH

– Goodwin Library, Farmington, NH

– Lee Public Library, Lee, NH

– Greenland Women’s Club Bookclub

– Owls Head Transportation Museum, Wells, ME

– Royal River Alliance, Yarmouth, ME

– Mary E. Bartlett Memorial Library, Brentwood, NH

– Seabrook Library, Seabrook, NH

– Martha Sawyer Community Library, Lebanon, ME

– Sanborn Regional High School, Kingston, NH

– Philbrick-James Library, Deerfield, NH

– Philip Read Memorial Library, Plainfield, NH

– Portsmouth Athenaeum, NH

– Portsmouth Public Library, Portsmouth, NH

– East Kingston Public Library, East Kingston, NH

– Berwick Public Library, Berwick, ME

– UNH Marine Docents

– Meriden Library

– Newmarket Public Library, Newmarket, NH

Event Information

Great Bay Book Club Flyer


APRIL 25, 2024


Thank you to all those who participated in this incredible event alongside Great Bay-Piscataqua Waterkeeper Melissa Paly and guests.

Participants included:
David Moore, Author of Small Town, Big Oil
Dudley Dudley, former Durham State Representative
Nancy Sandberg, former Chair of Save Our Shores
Meredith Bennett, daughter of Phylliss Bennett, publisher of Publick Occurences
Tom Irwin, VP, Conservation Law Foundation
Cory Riley, Manager, Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
Ben Doyle, UNH student activist
Amanda Gokee, Climate Reporter, Boston Globe
Christina Dubin, Seacoast Climate Action Now and Beyond Plastics
Dick Ober, President & CEO, NH Charitable Foundation


 Books are available at your local library, or can be purchased at RiverRun Bookstore or Water Street Bookstore for a 25% discount


About the hosts:

Melissa Paly is Conservation Law Foundation’s Great Bay – Piscataqua Waterkeeper, advocating daily for the health of the waterways that make the Seacoast region of New Hampshire and southern Maine such a spectacular place to live, work and play. The Waterkeeper works closely with a wide range of stakeholders from state and federal environmental officials to scientists, consultants, local decisionmakers, educators and grassroots activists to reduce pollution and restore the health of the Great Bay ecosystem.

Great Bay Stewards, a non-profit organization established in 1995, plays an integral role in a variety of programs associated with the Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. To fulfill its mission to protect Great Bay for future generations, the Stewards also work with area organizations to raise awareness of critical issues and promote estuarine conservation.


The Great Bay Book Group is made possible with generous support from New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, New Hampshire Humanities, and the Rosamond Thaxter Foundation.

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Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve

Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve

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